Today I received the following communication from someone in the organisation with the rather grand title of ‘Deputy Chief Executive’.
‘I would like to remind all staff that their six-monthly PDR review is nowdue. Some of you will already have appointments with your manager todiscuss this; if not, you should be hearing from them soon. If you do notreceive any communication from your manager in the next few days thenplease remind them. It is in your interests to understand your level ofperformance and to know that the objectives you have agreed are helping theCouncil to achieve its aims and vision.
P.D.R (Performance Development Review), for those of you who are not familiar with ‘bullshit speak’, is the process whereby members of staff are interviewed individually by their line manager. Having answered a series of questions, the manager will produce a patronising two-page document telling them what areas they can improve on. Usually this consists of fatuous comments such as ‘Antony needs to be better organised in preparing his workload’. It never ceases to amaze me how the powers that be insist on treating fully grown adults like children at every opportunity. Since this is my last week at Nottingham City Council, I have produced my own Performance Review and saved it in the relevant folder, thus saving my manager the trouble of producing one.
Name: Humphrey Clarke Position: Badly Paid Temp
1) How well did you meet your individual and team objectives? (Refer back to the original
Objectives Setting sheet). Give examples of particular successes.
This is the first (and hopefully the last) PDR for Humphrey
Humphrey started working at the city council in July and has grown progressively more lazy and cynical as his employment has gone on.
His single success at Nottingham Works has been to create an unnecessarily large and picture heavy B.M.E guide, which crashes Word every time it is loaded. Since then he has mostly sat around looking at the BBC News website, delivering sarcastic comments and printing out pictures of Lord Kitchener to hang above his desk. It is questionable whether this activity is compatible with the aims of this organisation.
2) Which aspects of past performance were less successful than expected? Why?
Humphrey is both the most highly qualified, and the worst Admin Assistant in the organisation. He suffers from a crippling lack of motivation because a third of his wages are stolen each week by the evil -and improbably happy- temping agency he works for. When asked to do work for members of staff he commonly responds with an existentialist comment such as ‘what does it matter anyway’ or ‘its all futile’. Furthermore, as an over-privileged aristocratic bastard who hates the lower classes, his suitability for administering pre-employment training courses has to be strongly questioned.
3) Which parts of your work have given you the most satisfaction/enjoyment? Why? What are you most skilled at?
Humphrey’s only skill is the ability to turn up to work when he has a full-blown hangover. He is largely useless when he finally gets there, so this really isn’t much of a boast. Since his job mainly consists of tiresome mail merges and dealing with Neanderthal morons on the telephone his job satisfaction could be said to be terminal. The only other ability he possesses is to ‘tell it like it is’, but this could be alternately interpreted as rudeness.
What have you enjoyed the least? What aspects do you feel least skilled in?
In his own words, Humphrey feels that ‘his soul has died a slow and painful death’ over the course of his employment. The prospect of another battle with the photocopier compels him to obtain a shotgun, blast the errant machine with both barrels and then turn the weapon on himself. This is troubling because, although the member of staff is expendable, such an action would breach health and safety regulations.
Manager’s comments on performance (team and individual)
Sack immediately and refer to mental health clinic.